Synthetic cannabinoids

Synonyms The most common synonyms are:
  • Albino Rhino Buds, Aroma, Blueberry, Blueberry Hawaiian, Bombay Blue, Bubble gum, Caneff 5 star, Chillin XXX, Citrus, Cloud 9, D-Raw, Dark Matter, Dream, Eruption, Everlast, Ex-ses (Platinum), Experience: Chill, Experience: Ignite, Experience: Red Ball, Fusion, Galaxy, Genie, Gorilla, Grape, Grape Hawaiian, Hawaiian, Hawaiian hurricane, Hawaiian passion, Hawaiian ultra, Hawaiian vacation, Hayze Spice (13 spice, Herb Dream, Herbal kush, Herbal potpourri, Ice Bud Extra Cold, Incense blend, K2, Kronic, Krypto Buds, Magic, Mojo, Moon Rocks, Orange, Pep Spice, synthetic pot, Purple, Sence, Smoke, Solar Flare, Space, Space Truckin', Spice, Spice Arctic Synergy, Spice Diamond, Spice Gold, Spice Gold Spirit, Spice Silver, Spice Tropical Synergy, Spice99 (Ultra), SpiceWorld420, Spicey XXX, Spike99, Splice Platinum, Star Fire, Strawberry Hawaiian, Strawberry kush, Trainwreck, Watermelon kush, White, Yucatan Fire, Zohai, Zohai SX
Classification Hallucinogen, dissociative:
  • Causes users to see, hear or feel things that do not exist.
  • Causes a feeling of dissociation.
Visual description
  • Combination of dried plant material (often lettuce) that is sprayed with chemicals that produce potent effects similar to those of cannabis.
    There are many combinations available and their exact composition is often unknown. The product is usually packaged in small sealed foil packets or clear plastic bags.
Mechanism of action
  • Similar to that of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient found in cannabis.
    Synthetic cannabinoids however, bind more strongly to the receptors than THC, which explains why their effect is stronger and often unpredictable.
Routes of administration
  • Smoked and ingested (added to certain foods).

Effects sought out by the user

The effects of synthetic cannabinoids often resemble those of marijuana, but are much stronger.
  • Enhanced sensory perceptions
  • Euphoria (high)
  • Feeling of well-being
  • Laughter (outbursts of laughter)
  • Sense of calm and relaxation

Common toxic effects

Difficult to foresee due to the lack of information and the countless combinations possible.
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Infarct
  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Red eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tremors

Overdose effects

  • Ataxia (lack of coordination)
  • Coma
  • Death
  • Respiratory depression
  • Sedation
  • Slurred speech

Effects associated with chronic use

The long-term effects on the body and central nervous system (brain) are largely unknown at this time. They can be felt after regular and prolonged use and can persist long after stopping.
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Onset or worsening of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia in those with a predisposition or prior history
  • Respiratory tract irritation if the product is inhaled

Tolerance (need to increase the dose to feel the same effect)

Yes (fast)

Addiction

Chronic use can lead to dependence.

Withdrawal

Yes, symptoms are similar to those of marijuana:

  • Anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Headache
  • Insomnia and nightmares
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Tremors

Onset and duration of action

Route of
administration
Onset of
action
Peak
Duration of
action
Ingested30 to 90 minutesN/A4 to 12 hours
SmokedInstant15 to 30 minutes2 to 3 hours

Screening

Laboratory tests:

  • Synthetic cannabinoids are difficult to detect in the blood after smoking them. The problem, when it comes to screening, stems from the fact that the combination of substances is constantly changing.

Intoxication management

  • No antidote available.
  • Support: symptomatic treatment.

Many different street drugs are sold under the same name. Furthermore, nothing guarantees the quantity, purity or even the content of a street drug in spite of the fact that it may, in some cases, look like medication.

If you need help or want to learn more:

Partnership for a Drug-Free Canada.

www.canadadrugfree.org

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